Play's an integral part of our program at AIM and there's so many reasons why. We all have fond memories of our childhood, growing up playing games, mucking around with our mates, or participating in team sports (for fun or competitive reasons). These activities help to shape us into the people we are today. When I think back to my childhood memories, all the good times revolved around playing… Running around the house with my little brother getting up to mischief (pretty sure we both dreamed we were going to be professional wrestlers at one point). We made friends around the neighbourhood by participating in games of football, cricket or whatever else was happening at the time. It was playing these team sports (rugby in particular), that helped me break down the language barrier, helping me make new friends when I moved to boarding school in the UK. It played such an important part in making connections and developing friendships. Play is in our DNA! It allows us to be creative, help us develop our imagination and dexterity while building physical, cognitive & emotional strength. It’s only through play that we start to learn to engage & interact with the world around us. Sadly, this innate behaviour is being lost and with it all the great stuff play facilitates for us to grow as better humans. It’s easy to sit back and look at some of the reasons behind this loss. For most it could be due to lack of environment. It could be that our culture doesn’t encourage play – it simply isn’t something adults do! Physical benefits are routinely measured by numbers or acquiring certain skills – reps, sets, load/weight, body composition, skills. There is no metric for play, which may be a barrier for some. For few, it could boil down to lack of confidence and/or little to no physical preparedness – unaware or uncoordinated, lack strength or mobility, or the possibility of injury. There’s a saying – "stiff minds lead to stiff bodies." To me, these are the very reasons we all need to PLAY! “You don't stop playing because you grow old; you grow old because you stop playing.” Play in our species has been a vital part of our success. It allows us to better connect with ourselves; to connect, engage & interact with others to develop social & emotional intelligence; to explore, articulate & express ourselves 😊 PLAY is such a powerful tool, it: Drives activity that helps maintain and develop motor skills. We play to develop skills and movement capabilities (speed/agility/athletic performance). Facilitates social bonding and can help with stress management. Research indicates that certain forms of play serve to lower stress hormones and help in developing cognitive and creative skills. There is a large volume of evidence-based research that has found a state of play stimulates the production of our feel good hormones. Play increases endorphins, oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that … [Read more...] about Play: Use it or lose it!!
Einstein said, “doing the same thing but expecting different results is insanity.” I’ve learned the hard way that there is never a perfect time to start. Today is as good as any other day… We should always aim to be better than yesterday. Remember that progress is success. Success in anything takes time, commitment, dedication, hard work, and most importantly patience. To set myself and AIM Tribe for success, we revert to 18 Simple Rules… These rules have fueled our development physically, plus mentally and emotionally too. They have been refined and evolving for over 10 years. Have yielded quality results. They're rules that are simple but often not easy… Follow and implement these rules to set yourself up to be the best version of you, today! Start with WHY – be honest and clear on why you want to train Mobility is ability – you can’t get strong in range you don’t have! Have FUN – if it isn’t fun then you’re not going to be doing it for long! Consistency over intensity – Stop thinking about how hard you can go this week… start thinking long term. Get coached – don’t be scared or afraid to seek and ask for help Move well first then Move often – understand and lay a solid foundation before jumping to higher-level work Eat – stop paying attention to the newest diet… start with eating real and quality food Get tribal – be in an environment of like-minded people who support and challenge you Patience – Rome wasn’t built in one day. Be patient and consistent. What gets measured gets managed – keep a journal, do/redo tests, track you progress and know your numbers Variety is spice of life – try new things, learn new things and challenge yourself Too easy – if your training isn’t making you uncomfortable every so often then it’s not right for you! Breathe – you can stretch, strengthen or condition yourself but learn to breathe Play more – it’s the highest form of research Paralysis by analysis – stop over thinking and start taking action Stretch – do more of it! Take responsibility – you only have one body and you’re in charge of it! Step into the cave of fear – Expose yourself and your weaknesses to grow yourself. If you have any questions or need any help, get in touch! Exercise is optional, movement is essential, Vik. Want free play sessions and exclusive invites to events? Enter your details below and we'll send them straight to your inbox. Follow Facebook Instagram Youtube … [Read more...] about The 18 Modern Principles for Strength, Mobility & Longevity
5 non-negotiable questions to consider when looking at group training options to set you up to achieve killer results. Not all group training is equal! These days most people invest time and energy in their health and fitness to look after themselves. We dedicate time to get and keep the body composition at the desired state, get strong, improve our cardiovascular fitness, maybe try to make mobility gains and perhaps use exercise as a mindset tool to keep us sane 😉. But here’s the problem; everyone’s short on time. Trainers can qualify in two weeks with what seems like a diploma from the back of a cereal box in some instances. Plus, there are shedloads of information available on social media on what to do (most rubbish, some good!). Going to the gym can be intimidating, full of big egos and everyone looks like they know what they’re doing, although I’m not convinced they all do! Enter group training 😊. Training in a group can be so much better than by yourself – right? You have the convenience of choosing from allocated times where the workout is planned for you, there is a trainer to guide you, plus more people means extra support, push, and motivation to do better. Often you get to be part of an awesome community and it can be cheaper than working one on one with a coach. With so many group options available, how do you choose? To help those who are committed to being the best version of themselves here are 5 non-negotiable questions to ask: 1. Quality – what is the quality of information and work? Ensure the information provided is good, the trainer explains the movements and feedback is provided. We recommend no more than 12 people per trainer to ensure the information is not diluted due to large group sizes. Ensure the focus is also on form and not just counting reps and sets and keeping you moving. 2. Personalised – are the movements progressive and personalised to your current abilities? Is their periodic testing to track your progress? We all have different body types, move differently, and are at different levels. Why would we rock up to a group fitness class and do the exact same workout as 20 other people? If so, you’re not maximising the results from your efforts. Yes, it’s a group session but just because you’re training with others doesn’t mean your progress should not be measured and tracked. Look for training options that program progression options during the workouts and track your strength, mobility, and body composition progress. 3. Education – Are you being taught how and why you are being trained rather than just being shown what exercises to do? Understand the why behind your training to help you keep the quality of your training super high. Also it’s becoming more common for training facilities to offer much more holistic health and lifestyle education as part of your training. Nutrition, stress management, time management and relaxation techniques can all help you achieve not only your training … [Read more...] about 5 Quick Questions to Achieve Life Changing Results In Group Training
Why Strength and Movement are key elements of the AIM Method.. At AIM, we do not conform to the typical fitness industry regimes and we are passionate about education. We set meaningful intentions. We teach our TRIBE the WHY before showing them strategic steps to reach these intentions. We use conventional ways to train but apply unconventional ways to teach, empower, practice and move. We do this through the AIM METHOD which has strength and movement as the foundation of our training methods. So what do strength and movement mean to AIM and why it is such a vital part of our method?... Read on 😊 Strength Strength is and always will be an integral part of our method for a number of reasons: Performance: Your size, speed, power, and endurance are all dictated by your strength, and more importantly your ability to perform everyday tasks. Health: An improvement to health increases the function of your immune system, boosts your metabolism while lowering blood pressure, risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, stress, anxiety and so much more. Body composition: – We all want to look good naked! How about prolonging aging or illness associated with ageing? Do you want to have a good quality of life in your golden years?! Building, maintaining, and sustaining muscle mass while keeping healthy levels of body fat is the key! We are upfront about strength – our objective is not to be the strongest or the biggest. We do not claim or train to break records. Here at AIM, it is more important to be able to transfer or express the strength gains in a variety of ways rather than just saying I can lift X amount of weight. This does not mean we do not challenge ourselves or lift heavy!! We use a number of creative bodyweight weight and strength work drills – imagine pulling or pushing yourself on gymnastic rings, doing handstands, levers, etc. We do not simply use a barbell (hands down the best strengthening tool for the lower body) to slap more weights on to see how much we can lift or to show how strong our clients may be. At AIM, we focus on how well we can move under or with an external load. “We believe you have to implement strength when movement is the focus and you have to implement movement when strength is the focus – they are equally a priority for us” Movement Due to modern technology, environment, stress, and poor habits we have limited ourselves in being able to express ourselves through movement. It is a common occurrence for people to walk around very restricted or in pain. Doing simple tasks like hanging, squatting, or touching your toes are difficult and painful. Basic abilities like coordination, reaction, and balance are being diminished due to a lack of complex and skilled movements. People are so out of tune with themselves that something as instinctual as breathing is restricted causing a whole host of issues. We observe many in the community who are not happy with their quality of life right now – … [Read more...] about STRENGTH & MOVEMENT: A Winning Recipe
Are you limited in your movement because of your hips? One of the key problematic regions in our bodies are our hips! This is mainly due to our modern-day lifestyles. So many of the AIM TRIBE commenced training with us due to TIGHT, RESTRICTED, UNSTABLE or WEAK HIPS!! Hip issues can cause an array of problems that can affect the most basic day to day movements such as bending, squatting and can often be the underlying cause of lower back pain. Truth be told there is no magic sauce to cure your hip restrictions straight away! This issue of yours didn’t happen overnight and it won’t be going away overnight either! The good news is we’ve had great success in all our clients moving more freely in a short space of time by doing simple mobility drills that can take anywhere between 10-15 minutes to perform. It requires the willingness to understand, implement and being consistent with your practise to progress and start moving your hips. “Whilst I still have a long way to go, my hip mobility and general awareness has increased dramatically. I not only have unlocked lots of movement in my hips, but I now understand how to move them safely, without fear of injury – especially after retraining myself how to engage a strong posterior tilt! My back pain has decreased massively, and I now know how to alleviate and avoid mistakes that lead to the pain.” – Chris Purves Fundamental hip exercises We have decided to share our AIM hip fundamental exercises to help you free your hips. This is the same regime the AIM TRIBE perform before our group sessions or individually, as a part of their own daily practise. If you want and/or need to work on freeing your hips then we have compiled our hip fundamentals in this short video. https://youtu.be/DkoRdShIcyE We recommend you listen to Shakira as we do and perform these exercises at least 3-5 times a week. 😊 To happy hips... Vik Have questions or want us to help you improve your hip mobility? Hit the button below to get in touch and arrange a chat with us. Make an Enquiry Follow Facebook Instagram Youtube … [Read more...] about Hips Don’t Lie
BODY AWARENESS, OR PROPRIOCEPTION IS YOUR BODY’S ABILITY TO SENSE THE POSITION, LOCATION, ORIENTATION, AND MOVEMENT OF THE BODY AND ITS PARTS. This is the key to successful movement Let me ask you a question – how can a person be ‘good’ if they don’t know what good looks like? If you don’t know what good looks like - or better yet feels like then you don’t have a working model to help guide your behaviour. For example how many time have you heard ‘pull your shoulder back’, ‘chest up’, or (my favourite) ‘switch you core on’! This is often met by with ‘uh... is that it?’ or a blank stare. Pulling the shoulder normally looks like arching from your lower back, chest up normally looks like a shrug and switching the core on often looks like your sitting on the toilet because you’re tensing so much! Some of the best athletes that I have coached have no idea of what ‘good’ looks like and they certainly had no idea of what ‘good’ feels like! So, if you don’t know what to feel, how can you activate, strengthen or perform a movement? LET'S LOOK AT HOW BODY AWARENESS CAN AFFECT OUR MOVEMENT PATTERN As the body moves to perform an intricate movement such as stepping up on a bench, our body will start by working in a way where individual muscles team up to create a kinetic chain, and then these group of muscles work with other groups of muscles and so on till the movement is done. Seems complicated to understand right?! Well we have our brain, in particular the cerebellum to thank for making this happen. The cerebellum is in constant communication with muscles like a circuit, moderating movements using proprioception. When we learn new movements, the cerebellum gets involved - a lot. As movement patterns become more established, our muscles rely less on higher-level intervention and more on memory. Muscle memory. Good patterns or bad patterns, these will be the strategies your body remembers - and uses. During your waking hours, you have two choices: reinforce good habits or reinforce the bad habits. The more aware you are of your body, the better movement quality you’re going to gain for longer period of time which is going to help you out in the real world. It is never too late to teach your muscles how to work together to produce better, more efficient movement patterns. Using poor habits means you are using the wrong muscles at the wrong times to execute a movement. This is how we end up with an unbalanced body and lack to gain any strength, stability, mobility and coordination but actually can end up with joint restrictions, chronic pains and injuries. Take home Over the course of your life, you’ve learned how to move in an astonishing number of ways. Not all of the ways you move are correct, in fact some of your habits are probably downright horrific. But that doesn’t stop you from moving. When you ask your body to do a job, your body doesn’t care what it looks like - it carries out an order using the resources it has available and the habits you … [Read more...] about Body Awareness